It was confirmed earlier this week by Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe that defenseman Jake Muzzin awaiting results after seeing a neck specialist in California.
The blue liner has been sidelined since Oct. 17 and is currently on long-term injured reserve.
Ever since, the chatter heard on Muzzin’s has not been encouraging, and on Thursday, Chris Johnston revealed on Insider Trading on TSN how serious this injury is and what it means for Muzzin’s future.
“I can tell you, there is legitimate concern about what the next hit could look like if he were to return – what his future is. And this has big cap implications for the Leafs. They’ve struggled out of the gate here and really have only been able to look at some minor moves around the depth pieces of the organization. But if there is a Jake Muzzin-sized hole in their lineup, they’ve got a need there for a defenseman and they [would] have more cap space to play with.”
I don’t doubt that the Maple Leafs are struggling with Muzzin’s presence on the ice - with Keefe saying it bluntly this week: “You can see our penalty kill hasn’t been the same.” However, shouldn’t the team be more concerned with what this could mean for the poor man’s life and future?
Remember when teammate Mitch Marner commented on Muzzin’s condition. The forward said: “Obviously for him it’s just making sure that, if he does come back and play this year, or whatever happens, just make sure that he’s going to be able to do whatever he wants to do the rest of his life and enjoy the time with his family, his kids.”
This should be what concerns the Maple Leafs as well.
But I get it, hockey is a business. And with the small bits and pieces of updates we get on Muzzin, we can understand why Toronto is active on the market, looking for help to bolster the back end.
My thoughts still go out to Muzzin.